“It’s Already More Difficult”: Victoria Azarenka Comments on Her Grass Season After Defeating Jessica Pegula at WTA Berlin 2021

Published 06/19/2021, 8:07 AM EDT
Tennis – WTA 500 – bett1 Open – Rot-Weiss Tennis Club, Berlin, Germany – June 15, 2021 Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka in action during her round of 16 match against Germany’s Andrea Petkovic REUTERS/Annegret Hilse


7th seed, Victoria Azarenka got a gritty win over American, Jessica Pegula in the quarterfinals of WTA Berlin 2021. It was a tough victory in three sets which went well for Azarenka’s preparations for Wimbledon Championships 2021.

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Victoria Azarenka reacts during her round of 16 match against Germany’s Andrea Petkovic REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

For one and a half sets, Azarenka played brilliantly on the grass courts of Berlin. However, Pegula made a healthy comeback to stall the Belarusian’s party and took the second set.

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“I’m really happy that I made it out in the third set. I played really well in the beginning of the match, the first set, and in the middle of the second set.”

Victoria Azarenka in action during her round of 16 match against German’s Angelique Kerber REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

Victoria Azarenka on her third set turn around against Jessica Pegula

The third set was topsy-turvy as both the players broke each other’s serve multiple times. And in the end, it came down to the one who made the fewer mistakes. So Azarenka attacked when needed and picked up the third set to advance into the semifinals, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.

“Then she went for a couple of shots, and I felt like I slowed down and was doing too much of repeating the same mistakes. But I’m glad that I was able to turn it around.”

It was revenge for Azarenka, as earlier at Australian Open 2021 she had suffered a humiliating first-round exit at the hands of Pegula. At Berlin, Azarenka has well suited to the fast surface and en route to the semifinal also beat former World No.1, Angelique Kerber.

“Matches on grass can go fast, one or two breaks and it’s already more difficult,” Azarenka said.

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Azarenka had a very short clay court season prior to the grass-court season. She had initially withdrawn from her second-round Madrid Open match. Hence she came into French Open 2021, with just one match under her belt.

Although she managed to reach the fourth round, she became one of the favorites for the title as many top 10 seeds fell before the quarterfinal stage. However, Azarenka lost to the eventual runner-up Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the fourth round. At a much faster surface in the grass, Azarenka has looked good and much more potent.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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